What Is MDMA and What Does the Drug Do to You?


Pure MDMA is the stuff raver dreams are produced of. It is also getting looked as a doable antidote to remedy-resistant PTSD. So, what is the distinction in between MDMA and ecstasy, and what effects do each and every have on your physique?

MDMA, like weed, straddles two totally various worlds in the public’s eye. On one particular hand, it is been implicated in a rash of festival deaths, exactly where young individuals take as well a great deal and overheat, dehydrate, or just overdose. On the other hand, it could turn into a breakthrough drug for therapy, one particular that properly treats mental illnesses that have traditionally resisted traditional medicine. 

So, which is it? Is MDMA an extremely unsafe “party drug” that is just waiting to kill the subsequent particular person who requires it? Or is it a potentially blockbuster medication that could restore lives exactly where classic medicine has failed? 

What MDMA Is Not

To have an understanding of what MDMA is and how it operates, we want to dispel some misconceptions. MDMA is typically sold as “ecstasy” or “molly” on the streets. But MDMA is not ecstasy. And, even though MDMA is slang for molly, what your dealer sells you in all probability is not the very same ultra-pure powder that is been dubbed “breakthrough therapy” in the current clinical trials. 

Ecstasy usually comes in the kind of pressed tablets. These tablets typically seem in an assortment of colors or are printed with some form of logo, like a Playboy bunny, a Superman Man eblem, an Adidas logo, or Donald Trump’s face. Even though the media and drug dealers each peg these tablets as “MDMA,” ecstasy is not MDMA, precisely. Rather, ecstasy is commonly a entire host of illicit and legal substances — which could or could not be mixed with MDMA — and in some circumstances, your ecstasy tablets could not include any MDMA at all. 

Molly is a common slang term referring to MDMA. Other street terms involve Adam, Eve, E, and X (even though the latter two usually refer to ecstasy tablets). What is sold as “molly” usually comes as a crystal, rock, or powder packaged in a plastic baggie. Ordinarily these crystals are off-white or even yellow. But like ecstasy, molly can be something. Molly typically consists of, or totally is, a chemical that types chunky crystals like cathinones, piperazines, and other elements of so-referred to as “bath salts.” But because some of these knock-off MDMA’s effects, street dealers do not assume twice about peddling fake shit at your expense.

Once again, like ecstasy, molly could include MDMA. But do not bet your life on it. Now, with ecstasy and molly out of the way, let’s now go over actual, pure MDMA.


What Is MDMA?

MDMA stands for methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine. You could wig out at seeing the word “amphetamine” subsequent to two “meths,” but rest assured, MDMA is not crystal meth — even though, it is an amphetamine-like compound. Its amphetamine qualities involve dilated pupils, constricted blood vessels, enhanced heart price and physique temperature, a lack of appetite, a tight jaw, and an inability to sleep. 

That is fairly a great deal exactly where MDMA’s similarities to amphetamines like dextroamphetamine (a.k.a. Adderall) finish. MDMA is not almost as addictive as amphetamines or crystal meth, and there is nonetheless debate as to no matter if its addiction price is any larger than getting addicted to gambling, tv shows, or marijuana.

What tends to make MDMA one of a kind to the inferior amphetamines is its potential to facilitate open-mindedness and amplify tactile sensations. MDMA is classified as an entactogen, which means a drug that enhances empathy and emotional awareness. It is this potential to break down emotional and mental barriers that is got psychiatrists studying this drug as a medicine. Or, as one particular MDMA-loving character mentioned in the 2000 film Groove: “Pot and beer, they fuck you up. This enhances you. Heightened awareness of your senses, specially touch, a feeling of connection… openness… honesty. It is like getting a kid.”

Or, as the legendary organic chemist Alexander Shulgin — who’s been referred to as the “inventor of MDMA” (he did not invent it, but he did resurrect it from pharmaceutical obscurity) — explained in his book Pihkal immediately after dosing himself on 120mg MDMA:

I really feel certainly clean inside, and there is absolutely nothing but pure euphoria. I have never ever felt so terrific, or believed this to be doable. The cleanliness, clarity, and marvelous feeling of strong inner strength continued all through the rest of the day, and evening, and via the subsequent day. I am overcome by the profundity of the expertise, and how a great deal far more strong it was than prior experiences, for no apparent explanation, other than a continually enhancing state of getting. All the subsequent day I felt like ‘a citizen of the universe’ rather than a citizen of the planet, absolutely disconnecting time and flowing quickly from one particular activity to the subsequent.

Gallery — Ecstasy Tablets That Mimic Well-known Brands and Logos: 

How MDMA (Possibly) Operates

Just before we dive into this subsequent portion, just know that there’s no scientific consensus on how MDMA operates its magic. The drug didn’t turn into well-liked till the ‘80s, exactly where it was speedily slapped into the Schedule I category by the DEA, exactly where it sits subsequent to heroin, LSD, and (of course) weed.

Primarily based on what small we know, scientists think that MDMA operates by stimulating our serotonin receptors and inhibiting serotonin reuptake. Generally, MDMA “turns on” our serotonin receptors so our brain cells commence releasing it. But anything about MDMA keeps our serotonin from naturally “falling off” the receptors and recycling back into the brain cells. In other words, MDMA could temporarily push our serotonin levels way off the charts — which is precisely exactly where they want to be, if we’re stuck in the previous and killing ourselves with self-doubt, regret, and anxiousness.

Johns Hopkins Healthcare College released study benefits final April displaying that MDMA in mice activated what’s referred to as a “critical period.” Just like with humans, when mice enter a “critical period,” they’re in a position to study and relearn new emotional, cognitive, and social processes. Mental illnesses such as PTSD blunt or block the brain from getting in a position to relearn something, which is why combat veterans typically discover themselves reliving violent flashbacks, or why abuse survivors view close pals and strangers with the very same suspicious paranoia.

In other words, MDMA temporarily shuts off our defense mechanisms so we can take into account other perspectives, pathways, or possibilities. It rewires the brain so it can assume beyond its primitive survival techniques to embrace a happier, far more fulfilling life.

The MDMA higher or expertise is referred to as “a roll” or “rolling.” It is also referred to as “a thizz” or “thizzing.” Soon after orally ingesting MDMA, it can take up to 90 minutes for it to kicking in, and the effects can final four to eight hours.


About Brain Harm and MDMA

As it went with weed, it goes with MDMA, as well: MDMA does not result in permanent brain harm, the very same way cannabis does not result in brain harm.

A single of the prohibitionists favourite arguments against MDMA use is that MDMA creates “holes” in the brain. This erroneous claim comes from older rodent research that located that MDMA administration in rats and mice triggered their serotonin receptors to essentially tip on empty shortly immediately after the drug took impact. But a meta-evaluation of MDMA and brain research from 2011 place these issues to rest when it concluded that MDMA does not result in brain harm

At worst, MDMA could result in brief-term withdrawal effects that can final up to a month, such as feeling low, restlessness, or loss of appetite. But the brain is extremely hard, and it can repair itself. The common rule of thumb is do not roll far more than after a month, take some vitamin C early into the roll, and drink water and remain cool through the expertise. Of course, that rule of thumb is largely folklore, so play with your brain cells at your personal threat.

Speaking of threat, as generally, bear in mind that MDMA is presently illegal AF fairly a great deal everywhere on the planet. It is only legally obtainable in the US if you are a patient in an experimental drug trial. Otherwise, if the cops catch you with it, you could be facing charges or prison time.

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